Monday, March 17, 2008

Here's a Thought

Just a thought-- if anyone has a movie or game that you'd like reviewed by us, just drop a line. I'm always up for a new suggestion when it comes to gaming and cinema.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Be Kind, Rewind - Kate's Perspective

I saw Be Kind, Rewind on the tail end of its criminally short box office run in a largely empty theater on a Monday night. It's probably a good thing there weren't many people in the theater, because otherwise it might have been difficult to hear the movie--the handful of viewers there cracked up and howled enough to nearly drown it out in a few places.

I expected Be Kind, Rewind to be funny. It would really take quite a lot of effort to make a movie about amateur filmmakers re-shooting Ghostbusters, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Driving Miss Daisy (among others) not funny. And it certainly lived up to that expectation. Despite Jack Black managing to annoy the crap out of me in the first ten minutes (and keep it up for the rest of the film), Mos Def and the shockingly adorable Melonie Diaz contributed more than enough to compensate for what he took away. I'm always surprised by Mos Def's acting talents. I'm not really sure why. He managed to salvage 16 Blocks on his own, and that was a considerable effort. But I digress.

What I didn't expect from the film--and from its admittedly tired premise (a poor community banding together to help a failing landmark business)--was to be genuinely touched. I think this had little to do with the "save the homeland" aspect itself. It had more to do with the idea, which everyone who has ever tried to make a movie with their friends will understand, of banding together to create something unique and beautiful with the people you love. Yes, it's corny, and the movie is corny, sure. But it's also quirky, and funny, and gorgeous. Performances from such lovable veterans as Danny Glover and Mia Farrow don't hurt, either.

The bottom line is that it's rare that a film that can simultaneously make you laugh until you pee AND leave feeling cuddly about humanity, smiling at the strangers on the way out of the theater and getting smiles back. Do yourself a favor; go and see it.

Final grade: A-

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Balls of Fury - Kate's Perspective

Sorry for the lack of updates, everyone (and by everyone I mean the two people who might occasionally stumble across this blog while looking for porn). Life, excuses, whatever. You know.

Anyway, the other night I had lots and lots to do, so naturally I ignored everything and watched adolescent movies with my dad. Somehow, in the sea of much better options (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Zodiac, American Gangster, even Ratatouille) we ended up with Balls of Fury. Oh, my dear readers. Oh. Oh.

I assumed that Balls of Fury would be mindlessly entertaining, much in the same vein as Blades of Glory, Talladega Nights, Dodgeball and other such funny but not terribly intelligent films. It was, after all, a recycled concept--a movie about an obscure sport with a surprisingly large underground fanbase. What I did not assume was that the movie's entire script would be recycled. This was clearly a silly assumption.

Fat, unattractive, unambitious but somehow wonderful protagonist: "OMG bathroom joke!"
Blind-when-convenient, crotchety-enough-to-be-cliche-but-not-enough-to-be-endearing old Asian mentor: "OMG racist joke!"
Sexy, tough-yet-provocatively-dressed frigid bitch of a "heroine" who still ultimately needs to be saved by a man: "Don't touch my ass!"
Protagonist: *touches ass*
Everyone: "OMG sexist joke!"
Gay joke waiting to happen: "HAY GUISE DUN FORGET MEH LULZ"

I just checked the running time on IMDB and was beyond stunned to see it listed at 90 minutes. Because it seriously had to have been at least four hours long. It just Would. Not. End. Every time I thought "oh thank you lord jesus for ending my pain" Christopher Walken would pop up with some new sort of electric bondage gear and a funny hat and start the whole thing over again.

It's not that I'm snobby. Really. I quote Anchorman as much as the next college nerd. But all I really ask for is a tiny pinch of originality and a funny, quotable script. It doesn't have to be of Juno proportions--I just ask that its humor be entirely based on not knowing that the scary Chinese overlord is actually Christopher Walken (which you find out halfway through), waiting on the tiresome, unfunny protagonist to get the attractive yet inexplicably hostile girl (which happens before the big tournament even unfolds), and finally, kicking the dead horse on its way out by having the Chinese mentor fall down an elevator shaft. See, it's funny because he's BLIND, get it?!? HAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaauggh.

Someone make me a thirty-second version of this movie that's funny. It shouldn't be that hard.

Final grade: D